Talk:Instrument of Accession

Latest comment: 1 year ago by Kautilya3 in topic Option of independence for the states
WikiProject India / History / Politics (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject India, which aims to improve Wikipedia's coverage of India-related topics. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page.
Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Indian history workgroup (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Indian politics workgroup (marked as Mid-importance).
Note icon
This article was last assessed in March 2019.
Note icon
An image has been requested for this article. Please remove the image-needed and in parameters once the image is added.

Moving the article to a more precise nameEdit

The title "Instrument of Accession" is a general term that applies in a number of settings, while this article is about one specific instrument. I suggest renaming this article to something like "Instrument of Accession (British Princely States)" and then creating either a more general article or a disambiguation page that can point to different instances of instruments of accession. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 12 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I take the point that the title is not specific, but “British Princely States” would be incorrect, as the states were not British. Moonraker (talk) 23:57, 28 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Instrument of Accession. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 12:42, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Treaty of Lahore (9 March 1846) and the Treaty of Amritsar (16 March 1846) lapsed under Article 7 of the Independence Act 1947. The Act was passed by the British Parliament on July 18, 1947 to assent to the creation of the independent states of India and Pakistan. The aforementioned Article 7 provides that, with the lapse of His Majesty’s suzerainty over the Indian states, all treaties, agreements, obligations, grants, usages and sufferance’s will lapse.

The 7 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh Bahadur (Sikh) was under the control of the East India company when he sign The Treaty of Lahore on 9 March 1846 which gave Jammu and Kashmir and its people to the East India Company.

Under the British legal system and international law a treaty signed by the 7 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh Bahadur and under duress is not valid. (The International Court of Justice has stated that there "can be little doubt, as is implied in the Charter of the United Nations and recognized in Article 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, that under contemporary international law an agreement concluded under the threat or use of force is void.)

Maharaja gulab Singh (a Hindu and the relative of Harri Singh) originally worked for the Sikh Empire. But then betrayed the Sikh empire by siding with the East India Company in the First Anglo-Sikh War. His name is mentioned in the treaty of Lahore too. He collected Taxes for the East India Company and the money was then given by him to the East India Company.

The removal of Article 370 of the Indian constitution further invalidated The Instrument of Accession.

Alistair Lamb also disputed the validity of the Instrument of Accession in his paper Myth of Indian Claim to JAMMU & KASHMIR –– A REAPPRAISAL'

Where he writes "While the date, and perhaps even the fact, of the accession to India of the State of Jammu & Kashmir in late October 1947 can be questioned, there is no dispute at that time any such accession was presented to the world at large as conditional and provisional. It was not communicated to Pakistan at the outset of the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, nor was it presented in facsimile to the United Nations in early 1948 as part of the initial Indian reference to the Security Council. The 1948 White Paper in which the Government of India set out its formal case in respect to the State of Jammu & Kashmir, does not contain the Instrument of Accession as claimed to have been signed by the Maharajah: instead, it reproduces an unsigned form of Accession such as, it is implied, the Maharajah might have signed. To date no satisfactory original of this Instrument as signed by the Maharajah has been produced: though a highly suspect version, complete with the false date 26 October 1947, has been circulated by the Indian side since the 1960s. On the present evidence it is by no means clear that the Maharaja ever did sign an Instrument of Accession."

Indian troops actually began overtly to intervene in the State’s affairs on the morning of 27 October 1947

It is now absolutely clear that the two documents (a) the Instrument of Accession, and (c) the letter to Lord Mountbatten, could not possibly have been signed by the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir on 26 October 1947. The earliest possible time and date for their signature would have to be the afternoon of 27 October 1947. During 26 October 1947 the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir was travelling by road from Srinagar to Jammu. (The Kashmir State Army divisions and the Kashmiri people had already turned on him and he was on the run and had no authority in the state). His new Prime Minister, M.C. Mahajan, who was negotiating with the Government of India, and the senior Indian official concerned in State matters, V.P. Menon, were still in New Delhi where they remained overnight, and where their presence was noted by many observers. There was no communication of any sort between New Delhi and the travelling Maharajah. Menon and Mahajan set out by air from New Delhi to Jammu at about 10.00 a.m. on 27 October; and the Maharajah learned from them for the first time the result of his Prime Minister’s negotiations in New Delhi in the early afternoon of that day. The key point, of course, as has already been noted above, is that it is now obvious that these documents could only have been signed after the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu & Kashmir on 27 October 1947. When the Indian troops arrived at Srinagar air field, that State was still independent. Any agreements favourable to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the charge of having been produced under duress. (The International Court of Justice has stated that there "can be little doubt, as is implied in the Charter of the United Nations and recognized in Article 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, that under contemporary international law an agreement concluded under the threat or use of force is void.)

Additionally Maharaja had no authority to sign the Instrument of Accession because he was on the run. The prevailing international practice on the recognition of state governments is based on the following three factors: first, the government’s actual control of the territory; second, the government’s enjoyment of the support and obedience of the majority of the population; third, the government’s ability to stake the claim that it has a reasonable expectation of staying in power. The situation on the ground demonstrates that the Maharaja was not in control of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and was fleeing for his life and almost all of Kashmir was under the control of the Kashmiri people and the Kashmiri Army that had rebelled against him. His own troops had turned on him. With regard to the Maharaja’s control over the local population, it is clear that he enjoyed no such control or support. The people of Kashmir had been sold by the East India Company and he charged them high taxes thetefore the Kashmir Muslims, Hindus Pandits and Buddhists hated him. Furthermore, the state’s armed forces were in total disarray after most of the men turned against him and he was running for his life. Finally, it is highly doubtful that the Maharaja could claim that his government had a reasonable chance of staying in power without Indian military intervention. This assumption is substantiated by the Maharaja’s letters. Therefore the Maharaja had no authority to sign the treaty, the Instrument of Accession it has no legal standing."

Option of independence for the statesEdit

In reply to the question in your edit summary, Kautilya3, you have the reference, and I have the note I took from it. The Patel item you have deleted in this edit read as follows

Vallabhbhai Patel later conceded at a press conference in January 1948, "As you are all aware, on the lapse of Paramountcy every Indian State became a separate independent entity."

As cited, this is from R. P. Bhargava, The Chamber of Princes (Northern Book Centre, 1991), p. 313, which can be read online on that page link. I see nothing “cherry picked” about it, it is highly to the point of the section, which is about the impact of the 1947 Act on the states. With respect, are you not undermining the neutrality of the article by removing an important part of the truth from this article? Moonraker (talk) 23:48, 28 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

He also says that all the states barring Junagadh and Hyderabad acceded (before the paramounty lapsed). They didn't "become independent". -- Kautilya3 (talk) 00:33, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Groan. Hyderabad of course shows that independence was on offer, Kautilya3. Junagadh shows only that the free choices available to the princes in the Act were not accepted by India. As it happens, in August 1947 other states did choose that path of independence - including Travancore, Jammu and Kashmir, and most of the states which were later the princely states of Pakistan. What happened in the years that followed is not the point here, it is about what options the states were given by the 1947 Act, and it seems clear that you want readers not to be aware of one of them. Moonraker (talk) 05:14, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would encourage you to go and write a book with your views. But you can't do that on Wikipedia. Here you are obliged to summarise reliable secondary sources as per WP:NPOV and DUE WEIGHT. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 07:11, 29 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]